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294
BYZANTINE CHURCHES                       CHAP.
With the triumph of the iconodules, in 842, under Michael III. and his mother the Empress Theodora, happier days dawned upon the Chora. It was then fortunate in the appointment of Michael Syncellus as its abbot, and under his rule it rapidly recovered from poverty and desolation. The new abbot was a Syrian monk distinguished for his ability, his sanctity, and his devotion to eikons. He came to Constantinople in 8145 to remonstrate against the religious policy of Leo the Armenian, and, according to the custom of monks from Palestine on a visit to the capital, lodged at the Chora. But so far from succeeding in the object of his visit, Michael was imprisoned and then banished to one of the monasteries on Mount Olympus in Bithynia. Accordingly, when the cause for which he suffered proved victorious, no honour seemed too great to bestow upon the martyr. It was even proposed to create him patriarch, but he declined the office, and supported the appointment of his friend Methodius to that position. Methodius, in return, made Michael his syncellus and abbot of the Chora.1 Under these circumstances it is not surprising that funds were secured for the restoration of the monastery, and that the brotherhood soon gained great influence in the religious circles of the capital. There is, however, no mention now of the church of the Archangel Michael or of the church dedicated to the Theotokos. Possibly the death of the abbot in 846 and lack of money prevented the reconstruction of those sanctuaries. The only churches attached to the Chora noticed in the biography of Michael Syncellus are the church of S. Anthimus, containing the relics of S. Babylas and his eighty-four disciples, the dependent chapel of S. Ignatius, and the church of the Forty Martyrs.2 Let it also be noted that there is yet no mention of a church specially consecrated to the Saviour,
After its restoration in the gth century the Chora does not appear again in history until the reign of Alexius L Comnenus (1081-1118), when, owing to its great age, it
1  Life of Michael Syncellus^ ut supra, pp. 30, 31.
2  See supplement to vol. xxiv, of the Proceedings of the Greek Syllogos of Constantinople, p. 33 ; cf, Schmitt, pp. 257-8.